Thank you, EA/Maxis. Thank you so much! The improved build mode and Create-a-Sim options were severely tempting me towards a pre-order of The Sims 4 but your recent blog post has put the brakes on that.
No pools? A Sims game without pools? That’s just crazy. It makes no sense, outside of maybe a rushed release (as if EA would do such a thing!) or an attempt to squeeze more money out of Simmers (which they would never do…) later on down the road. The lack of toddlers is just odd, to me, and is a backwards step to where the series started. Next thing you know they’ll tell us there’s no aging past childhood. Kids are kids forever and old people never die. Everyone seems nostalgic for old games these days, so why not bring back the Sims 1 aging?!
It’s not that I really enjoy toddlers, especially in the third edition of the series; I did enjoy them a bit in numéro deux because they were actually cute in that game. Actually, Sims in general were better looking in that game, but I digress. It’s more the principle of the matter: I don’t enjoy the knowledge that I am buying a half-baked game.
But as I said in the beginning I am, in fact, thankful for this trespass because it has made it that much easier for me to put off buying the game until the inevitable expansion pack bundled edition.
So during E3 Ubisoft made a bit of faux pas in saying that they were unable to have female assassins in the co-op mode of Assassin’s Creed Unity because “it was really a lot of extra production work”. They were almost immediately called out on it by others in the industry and the masses. This was perhaps compounded by the devs from Far Cry 4 stating they were oh so close to having a female character but then…reasons.
Polygon did a slew of articles on the issue(s) with Ubisoft and lack of diversity in general evidenced at E3. But what was interesting was every now and again in the comments section someone would point out how similar the gaming landscape and Polygon’s staff page looked. Shocker: mostly male, mostly white, and the few females don’t look older than twenty-five. Other gaming sites are just as bad, if not worse, and they lack any of the semi-valid excuses video game/tech companies have. After all, you can’t really (convincingly) argue that there is a lack of women with writing/journalist/English degrees. And with the economy in the gutter it probably isn’t that hard to find one who is willing to write about her favorite pastime. Or one who is at least thirty. I mean, according to their own reporting the average gamer is thirty-one.
This site and it’s sister publication, The Verge, are very good at pointing out the faults in the companies they cover and their hiring practices: how very non-diverse these places are. There never seems to be any real useful commentary on how to fix the problem, and yet they sit there with their own heavily white, male, staff. People in glass houses and all that jazz.
But the age thing bothers me as well. Seeing thirtysomething, balding, overweight men talk about games has become rather normal, but a woman who’s brain has finished developing not so much. It would be nice to see an organization acknowledge their own problems and what they are doing to fix them in addition to calling out others.
OverDrive is running the Big Library Read and the featured book is Laurien Berenson’s A Pedigree To Die For. It is a quick read, with pretty fleshed out characters and, well, dogs. Lots of dogs, mainly standard poodles. I am not a dog person (cats are our masters) but the amount of intrigue and devotion surrounding the fictional dog show enthusiasts in the novel was enough to keep the digital pages turning even for me.
Melanie Travis is teacher who finds herself out of work during the summer. She has a four-year old son to care for an a mooching younger brother. When her uncle passes away and one of his and his wife’s prized dogs goes missing, Melanie decides to humor her aunt’s theory about a murder taking place. After all, she has nothing else to do in the summer months.
She gets a crash course in dogs and dog shows which is a little awkward for me since she seems to have no issue at using the correct terminology for female canines. I know it’s what professionals call them, but seeing the b word thrown around so much is just odd and probably says something about our current culture and women. Whatever, I (kind of) got over it.
There is such a quirky cast of characters surrounding these dogs, and the family drama both on the surface and bubbling underneath provided additional substance to gnaw on. Melanie’s love life, or lack there of, was also refreshing as opposed to the tired cliché I was half-expecting.
Apparently there is a whole series of Melanie Travis books, and a quick look at their titles and cover art suggest they also revolve around dogs. I’m going to give the next book in the series a try, so we’ll see if this cat person can handle all this dog business.